Continuing our preview of the ten meta-regions of the Lost Omens World Guide, releasing in August, this week we take a look at the Broken Lands. This region occupies the northeastern corner of Avistan, consisting of Brevoy, Mendev, Numeria, Razmiran, the River Kingdoms, and the Sarkoris Scar (what used to be the Worldwound). While many parts of the world could be described as "broken," this region is particularly scarred by political upheaval, war, and demonic invasion. Player characters in these lands are likely to find rival factions competing for control of a government on the edge of collapse, open conflict between opposing city- or nation-states, or the remnants of the Abyssal horde now cut off from their demonic home plane and stranded in a world no longer focused on eradicating the threat they present.
Unlike Absalom, which we examined last week, there have been several adventure paths and standalone modules set in the Broken Lands whose outcomes we've canonically codified into the second edition status quo. Among these are Iron Gods, Kingmaker, and Wrath of the Righteous.
In Numeria, the Technic League has fallen from power, leaving Black Sovereign, Kevoth-Kul to kick his addiction to the mind-muddling drugs they'd been feeding him for years all on his own. What erratic behavior may come from the throes of withdrawal, and what political factions may vie to replace the league as the power behind the throne remains to be seen. Perhaps the adherents of the new goddess, Casandalee, will play a role?
In the River Kingdoms, a new nation rose in the Stolen Lands (conveniently left unnamed so that the kingdom you created in your Kingmaker campaign doesn't invalidate canon) and overtook Pitax.
In neighboring Brevoy, a king left at the altar has brought the lands of Issia and Rostland closer to war than ever before. Meanwhile, the previously abandoned and sealed Skywatch presents a new mystery for adventurers uninterested in the feuds of the nation's noble houses.
Queen Galfrey of Mendev, kept alive with sun orchid elixir to ensure constant leadership against the agents of the Abyss, has been given a well-earned retirement, and has left the nation in the capable hands of Chancellor Irahai. The end of the Mendevian Crusades, however, has left the nation without purpose or common threat, and the chancellor has her work cut out for her in unifying the people to foster a national culture long overshadowed by the threat of war and legions of foreign crusaders calling the northern land home.
In what was formerly the Worldwound—closed when mythic heroes defeated the demon lord Deskari—demons still lay claim to the tainted wasteland. While before they could count on endless reinforcements from the heart of the Abyss, the surviving demons and cultists are now cut off from their home plane and desperate to survive. The native Sarkorians who once called the land home have begun to return and reclaim their ancestral homeland, but they won't find its current inhabitants particularly welcoming. With the help of remnant crusaders not yet turned south to face the rising threat of the Whispering Tyrant and the strange outsiders that the Sarkorians call their gods, perhaps they can heal the Sarkoris Scar and make it into a stable, fertile land once again.
In Razmiran, once merely a River Kingdom and now a nation in its own right, life continues as it did before the Whispering Tyrant's escape, its citizens taking solace in the knowledge that their land is protected by a benevolent deity, Razmir. The Living God has not opposed the Whispering Tyrant and a constant stream of "donated" corpses to the lich's armies has ensured a tenuous peace between the two powers.
This chapter of the Lost Omens World Guide presents seven new character backgrounds and the Aldori duelist archetype, which allows player characters to master the iconic dueling style of Brevoy's Aldori swordlords!
On Thursday, be sure to check out the second in our Tales of Lost Omens series of flash fiction, written by veteran Pathfinder Tales author Tim Pratt, who previously explored the region in the pages of the novels Liar's Blade and Reign of Stars. Next week, we'll look at the Eye of Dread along the shores of Lake Encarthan, where the shroud of undeath has once again fallen upon the world.